The Donald Trump administration has announced a new policy to modernise its nuclear arsenal by developing smaller atomic bombs and enhancing its deterrence capabilities.
The strategy, President Donald Trump said, is tailored and flexible to address the wide array of threats in the 21st century.
Though Mr Trump said that the strategy “reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism,” it effectively ends Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the US arsenal and minimise the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning.
Defense secretary Jim Mattis said in an introductory note to the new policy — the first update to the military’s nuclear strategy since 2010 — that the changes reflect a need to “look reality in the eye” and “see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.”
He also said that maintaining an effective nuclear deterrent is much less expensive than fighting a war that the US was unable to deter.
Buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.”